Autism was mentioned for the first time in 1943 by Leo Kanner. At that time, the word “autism” is used to describe children with social and communication problems. But what is the cause of it cannot be defined, until 1980.
In 1980, the causes of autism were debated over which one affects autism bigger, parenting style or genetic abnormality. At that time, many people believe that parenting style takes a great part in the making of an autistic child. Especially, how the moms act towards their children.
But as much research takes place, the causes of autism were found one by one. In the next part below, we will talk about what are the most common fact regarding causes of autism.
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The Fact Regarding Causes of Autism
1. MMR vaccine causes autism
There is research in 1998 that claimed MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine can increase the chance of a child having autism. Therefore, the anti-vaccination campaigners keep talking about the dangers of MMR vaccination.
But in 2014, research to find a link between vaccines and autism rejected all causal relationships between them. It means there is no scientific proof that the MMR vaccine can cause autism until now.
2. Causes of autism during pregnancy
The next possible cause of autism happened during pregnancy. Several factors can be identified as risk factors for autism. For example, maternal bleeding during pregnancy is one of the causes of autism.
Besides that, maternal medication can also increase the risk of children born with autism. Many research findings can support this information. So, a pregnant woman needs to keep healthy for the sake of her baby.
3. Genes cause autism
This is most likely the common cause of autism in society. Families with autism members have higher rates of having autistic genes. Later, when each of the family members gets married and has children, the risk of having an autistic child is very high.
If parents have one child with autism, there is a 20% chance that they can have another autistic child. The finding is also the same for parents with twins.
4. Environmental causes of autism
The environmental causes are also possible as the reason behind children have autism. For example, the overexposure of a pregnant woman to air pollution can increase the risk of autism.
If the pregnant woman eats too much food that contains certain pesticides, then the risk of autism can also be higher. Therefore, a good environment holds a very important role too in the healthiness of soon-to-be mother and baby.
5. MTHFR and autism
The last possible cause of autism is MTHFR. What is MTHFR? MTHFR is the abbreviation of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. It is a gene in folate metabolism that can modify gene expression which resulted in causing autism.
There is evidence from medical research that can support this information. Indeed DNA methylation defects are greatly associated with an autism spectrum disorder in children.
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Treatment for Autism Child
As autism has a very wide range of symptoms, there is no standard treatment that is used to cure it so far. But there are many treatments for an autistic child to maximize each ability of autistic children.
The treatments vary based on the condition of the children. Therefore, the effectiveness of each treatment for each child also varies. Parents need to get consultation about what treatment they should give to focus on their children’s needs.
1. ABA autism
ABA is a therapy used for children with autism to help them learn about behavior. Children with autism often have problematic behaviors. It can be harmful and affect them in many aspects of social fields. That is why children with autism need to learn about behavior.
The goal of this therapy is to help children understand how behavior works, how behavior is affected by the environment, and how learning happens. The expected results of this therapy are a decrease in problematic behaviors, improvement of attention and focus, and better communication skills.
ABA therapy can be conducted in an individual or group setting. Both ways are great and have the advantage to help children with autism.
2. Physical therapy for autism
Some children with autism have weak physical skills and immune systems. This trait is common as one of the causes of autism is the environment and it makes the children need to exercise more to be healthier.
A special physical therapy is available for children with autism. They will do many activities and exercises to strengthen their body. The therapy especially focuses on the motor skills of children with autism. Because most of them have problems with movement.
After joining physical therapy, many children with autism have better muscle control and balance. So, they can play more with other children without any problems.
3. Melatonin and Autism
Another therapy that is helpful for children with autism is melatonin therapy. Melatonin is a sleep hormone that is produced from the brain to help your children rest well when they sleep. Children with autism often have sleep problems. Causes of autism that might be the reason behind this are the brain’s strange development which causes melatonin is not enough in their body.
Therefore, melatonin therapy will greatly help children with autism to fall asleep easier. It is safe to do and is already recommended by doctors. You can give the melatonin to your child as a pill or just put it under his/ her tongue.
4. Parent Support for Autism
Children with autism can also get help from parents in the setting of treatments. This treatment is often called parent-mediated therapy. In this therapy, parents will learn techniques to train their children from a professional therapist.
There are at least three types of therapies that can be parent support for autism. They are social communication therapy, behavioral therapy, and joint attention therapy. Studies explain that parent support therapies might be able to improve autistic children better.
Food to Avoid for Autism
Children with autism have a very limited food selection. They only like the same type of food and will not eat other foods than that. The type of foods that they dislike are foods with slippery and soft textures. On the other hand, they like savory foods so much.
But as parents of children with autism, you need to know what is the best diet for your children. It is better to avoid some foods to prevent causes of autism getting worse. What are the foods that need to be avoided for autism?
You can eliminate food with high sugar and dairy contents. Besides that, the autism diet is also popular with the tagline of “Gluten-Free” and “Casein-Free” diets. So, children with autism should avoid food like pasta, cereals, hot dogs, cheese, and many others.
Alexithymia and Autism
Alexithymia is often confused with autism. It is a neuropsychiatric disorder that is related to emotions. Some of its symptoms overlap with an autism spectrum disorder, but they are not the same. So how about the treatment for both of them?
As alexithymia itself may cause anxiety and problems to sleep, some treatment to improve the patients can also be used for autistic children. The same with depression in autism also can be found in alexithymia patients.
Treatment to help patients understand emotional expressions better in alexithymia will surely help relieve depression in autism too. This way, no matter what the causes of autism and the complication of it, there is always a treat to help.
Read also : Sign of Autism Based on Ages
School and Education for Autism Children
In some countries, children with autism are guaranteed free special education. The curriculum of special education for children with autism consists of many school-based therapies. Therefore, school services are pretty much good to help them to learn the most basic behavior.
Special schools and education for autistic children like that can give a better outcome too. Because the children will be familiar with a classroom setting and social interactions, which they cannot get at home.
1. Music and autism
Even though the music doesn’t have any connection with social difficulties that children with autism have, nowadays music has become an effective tool in autism therapy. Music can stimulate both hemispheres in the human brain. And that is exactly what children with autism need.
If the hemispheres of their brain are already stimulated, the cognitive activity can be fully-supported. Therefore, children can be more responsive and attentive to learn new skills.
2. Art and autism
Children with autism face difficulties to express their emotions. That is why art is used to help them know how to express it in creative ways. The type of art that children with autism can do is drawing, communicating their art products, recording images, and many others.
Art can improve the imagination and abstract thinking of the children, so they can express themselves better. Art therapy can encourage children with autism to learn to understand other people’s feelings.
3. Sports for autism
Sports therapy is also good for autism. It has the same goals as physical therapy, which are building motor skills and improving the children’s body balance. Now to be able to give the best sports therapy for autistic children, you need to know what are the good sports for autism therapy.
Children with autism will surely love swimming, biking, tracking, and recreational sport. All of them will teach children how to move their body to keep moving.
4. Autism treatment center
If you need a consultation on what therapy you should choose for your children, you can visit the autism treatment center. In there, you will be assisted to find what your children really need and what skills your children can achieve.
The autism treatment center is providing services 24 hours a day. You can freely get in touch, to discuss your children’s conditions.
Is There a Cure for Autism?
Until the recent research findings, there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder nor the medication to treat it. But you can help children with autism by taking them to attend treatment programs.
As mentioned above, there are many treatments that you can choose to help your children get closer to normal. But in some cases, there might be medication prescribed to relieve symptoms like trouble sleeping, depression, and trouble focusing.
How to Prevent Autism?
You can prevent autism by being aware of what are the causes of autism. You already know the causes of autism from the explanation above, then you already know that you must avoid an unhealthy life to have a healthy baby.
So to prevent autism, start to live healthily. You need to make changes in your lifestyle. Make sure to have regular check-ups of your body, do a health check-up before marriage, eat well-balanced meals, exercise more, and have good prenatal care. All those efforts will give you good results.
Can Smoking While Pregnant Cause Autism?
All of the causes of autism are related to an unhealthy life. That is why a woman who smokes during pregnancy is often associated with the risk of having children with autism. But so far, there are only scientific findings of smoking while pregnant can increase the risk of having a child with high-functioning autism.
But the raised risk is not that significant. It is possible but not the only cause. Then for the rumor of smoking women have a higher chance of having a more severe autism child is not true. There is no scientific evidence that can explain that maternal smoking will worsen the severity of a child with autism.
Why is the Rate of Autism Rising?
In the last decade, we all can see that autism is rising so much. To be able to explain why the rate of autism is rising, we need to know what are the causes of autism first. But as you know, there is no exact and clear information about what are the causes of autism.
We only know that causes of autism are very related to an unhealthy life, environment, and medications. So the recent increase of autism is due to changes in this world to the unhealthy side. Many people do drug abuse, eat unhealthily, and the air pollution is getting worse too. So always living your life healthy is the most effective way to be able to stop the rising of autism cases today!